Vegetable and Herb Garden
Name: Reidy B
Location: Alcova Heights, Arlington
Describe yourself: working parent with 2 kids

When did you start, and why?
I planted my first garden back in college, and have planted at least a few pots everywhere I’ve lived since then. There’s nothing like a few plants to make an apartment feel like a real home.

Advice to someone who wants to start their own vegetable and herb garden?
Don’t start a huge garden the first year. Ease into it. I think back to what I spent the most money on at the previous year’s farmers market, and start there. So I almost always grow Sun Gold cherry tomatoes (very easy), some mescalin, and basil. You could easily do all that in a few pots.
When you’re ready to expand you’ve got a lot of options. Last year, we had strawberries for the first time. We planted so many that it was hard to keep up with the harvest. If you’ve got room, squash or zucchini are easy to grow. Pumpkins were a big hit with neighborhood children the last couple of years.

Best thing about doing it?
That’s hard to say. I love planning the garden in the winter, and I love planting in the spring (I’m less good about keeping it watered all summer, but between a diligent husband and soaker hoses on a timer, most of the plants survive).
Maybe eating home-grown strawberries and cherry tomatoes? Yum!

Most unexpected thing you’ve learned?
You can grow a fig tree in Northern Virginia (maybe one day we’ll actually get some ripe figs from it).  Or maybe….
My preschooler learned how to make and set a rabbit trap last year. Fortunately, all 6 garden bunnies steered clear, or I’d have had to learn to make rabbit stew.

Share your gardening experiences with us, too!